All Black hooker Dane Coles - Photo / File
All Black hooker Dane Coles has admitted that a lot of thought and preparation had gone into last night’s opening World Cup haka.
In a new twist, captain Kieran Read co-led the challenge with TJ Perenara. Coles, the Te Tama-a-Tānenuiārangi 2016 Māori Sportsman of the Year, said that he ‘loved it’.
“It was one of the better ones. Without giving too much away, we’ve been doing a bit of work behind the scenes to get our timing and getting everyone to show what it means to them,” he told media at the All Blacks’ hotel in Minato City today.
”I think even Sam Whitelock struck out a pūkana”
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) September 21, 2019
Coles played 40 minutes of the All Blacks’ impressive 23-13 win over the Springboks in Yokohama last night, before being replaced by Codie Taylor. He had special praise for his Hurricanes teammate Ardie Savea, who had another outstanding game against the Springboks.
“From a boy from Rongotai to being one of the best players in the world at the moment, me and Sam Cane looked at each other after he got a crucial turnover and said ‘oh man’
“It’s little moments like that. He’s in a really good place, he’s a special kid and he’s got a great heart. He’s showing what it means to be an All Black.”
The All Blacks now have a 10-day wait till their next game against Canada in the southern city of Oita. However, coach Steve Hansen was quick to remind the media that it would not be spent resting, as the team would be back into contact training on Tuesday.